[nach-er-uh-lahyz, nach-ruh-]
See more synonyms for naturalize on
verb (used with object), nat·u·ral·ized, nat·u·ral·iz·ing.
  1. to confer upon (an alien) the rights and privileges of a citizen.
  2. to introduce (organisms) into a region and cause them to flourish as if native.
  3. to introduce or adopt (foreign practices, words, etc.) into a country or into general use: to naturalize a French phrase.
  4. to bring into conformity with nature.
  5. to regard or explain as natural rather than supernatural: to naturalize miracles.
  6. to adapt or accustom to a place or to new surroundings.
verb (used without object), nat·u·ral·ized, nat·u·ral·iz·ing.
  1. to become naturalized.
  2. to adapt as if native to a new environment, set of circumstances, etc.
  3. to study or carry on research in natural history.
Also especially British, nat·u·ral·ise.

Origin of naturalize

First recorded in 1585–95; natural + -ize
Related formsnat·u·ral·i·za·tion, nounnat·u·ral·iz·er, nounun·nat·u·ral·ize, verb (used with object), un·nat·u·ral·ized, un·nat·u·ral·iz·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for naturalize

familiarize, accustom, adopt, acclimate, adapt, conform, acclimatize

Examples from the Web for naturalize

Historical Examples of naturalize

British Dictionary definitions for naturalize



  1. (tr) to give citizenship to (a person of foreign birth)
  2. to be or cause to be adopted in another place, as a word, custom, etc
  3. (tr) to introduce (a plant or animal from another region) and cause it to adapt to local conditions
  4. (intr) (of a plant or animal) to adapt successfully to a foreign environment and spread there
  5. (tr) to explain (something unusual) with reference to nature, excluding the supernatural
  6. (tr) to make natural or more lifelike
Derived Formsnaturalization or naturalisation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for naturalize

"admit (an alien) to rights of a citizen," 1550s (implied in naturalized), from natural (adj.) in its etymological sense of "by birth" + -ize; in some instances from Middle French naturaliser, from natural. Of things, from 1620s; of plants or animals, from 1796. Related: Naturalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

naturalize in Science


  1. To establish a nonnative species in a region where it is able to reproduce successfully and live alongside native species in the wild. Naturalized species may be introduced intentionally or unintentionally. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but have become naturalized in many other parts of the world.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.